A handful of students took over the legislature this week as part of the 13th annual Youth Parliament.
The week-long program allows grade 9 and 10 students from across the territory to sit in the hot seats and learn what it takes to be an elected official in the territory.
In addition to learning about community concerns, participants got a chance to meet with MLA’s, write their own statements and speak during Question Period.
See: NWT Youth Parliament
Frame Lake MLA Wendy Bisaro is hopeful the program will get more students engaged in territorial politics.
She told Moose FM she was impressed by the students’ eagerness and level of professionalism.
“I think it lets them show off their skills,” she said. “We’ve got a really bright group of kids here so they have an opportunity to show what they’ve worked on.
“I think they learn a heck of a lot about how the legislature works while they’re here … and hopefully it will intrigue them a bit and some of them will get involved in politics.”
Every two years, letters are sent to schools across the territory encouraging students to enroll in the program.
The Youth Parliament attempts to admit one student per constituency.
“Every year staff tries to get someone from the community for the constituency,” Bisaro added. “It just spreads what the legislature does a little bit further in the territory.
“[Once they’re admitted], I’m hopeful that they’ll learn more about the legislature, how government works and how debate works but also about different parts of the territory if they haven’t been there.”